Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul told Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on Thursday's edition of the All the Smoke podcast that he appreciated Blake Griffin, his former teammate on the Los Angeles Clippers, even more after the two went their separate ways:
"It's seriously one of those things you don't realize what you have until it's gone. I think about it at times. And me and Blake absolutely had our issues here and there and whatnot, but I actually appreciated Blake probably a lot more after I left. And then, especially once he started shooting threes, I was like: 'God dang. Cash.'"
(Warning: Video contains NSFW language.)
The full interview can be seen here (contains NSFW language):
The Lob City Clippers, led by Paul, Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and JJ Redick, went to the playoffs six seasons in a row from 2011-12 to 2016-17 and were one of the most talented teams in the NBA. But they never made it past the second round of the postseason and three times failed to get out of the first round.
Barnes said during the podcast that he believes the Clippers were one of the most talented teams in NBA history to never win a title.
"No question," Paul responded.
Certainly, there's an argument to be made that they were one of the most talented teams to never even reach a conference final.
Those Clippers started to go their separate ways in the 2017 offseason. L.A. traded Paul to the Houston Rockets, while Redick signed with the Philadelphia 76ers in free agency. In January 2018, the Clippers traded Griffin to the Detroit Pistons, and that July, Jordan signed with the Dallas Mavericks in free agency. The Lob City era was over.
Those moves paved the way for the Clippers' epic 2019 summer that saw them sign Kawhi Leonard and trade for Paul George. But it's hard not to question what could have been for the Lob City Clippers, one of the NBA's most entertaining and memorable teams during that time period, had Paul and Griffin stayed together.